Fermented Foods v Anti-Nutrients: Intro

There are some truly wonderous lettuce dishes and we’ll com back to it later

Look out for Thai lettuce parcels with a “thousand” condiments. I first tried this at our friends Chris and Wendy ‘s apartment in downtown Bangkok. (Wendy’s Thai – she more than once told me her given Thai name but it just didn’t stick). No amount of cooking school activity compares with watching real people cook and serve real food!

For now I’m going to diverge into the strange world of anti-nutrients, in particular one called phytic acid which is found in virtually all grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. It’s the bad boy of the veggie world apparently preventing our guts from absorbing calcium, iron and other minerals as well as vitamins, and plays havoc with our ability to digest proteins and carbohydrates.  On the other hand it does things like regulate blood sugar levels, protect against heart disease and increase bone mass in cases of osteoporosis …???

If you’re on the earlier part of the argument don’t despair: sprouting and fermentation are two major ways to offset potentially harmful effects. I love sprouted grains and pulses, but I ADORE fermented foods:

  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Doenjang
  • Goechujang
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kaasandi
  • Sourdough bread
  • Idly
  • Dosa
  • Dhokla
  • Hoppers
  • Kenkey
  • Tamales agrios from Michiacán (I have a particular passion for all things Mexican )

But first we’ll glance at the problem in the next post  – not overly: this is a cooking blog!


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